Health officials say another case of Powassan virus (POW), a rare tick-borne virus, has been confirmed in upstate. 

A  74-year-old Saratoga County resident died of POW last month, now another has been hospitalized and a third suspected of being infected, has been treated and released. The state Health Department tells the Times Union the three patients were from different towns.

Symptoms of POW include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. There could be long-term neurologic problems and there is no specific treatment for this illness. Hospitalization is usually needed with this severe sickness illnesses to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.

Here are some tips on keeping ticks away from the CDC:

  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through the wash.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or 2-undecanone.

After You Come Indoors

  • Check your clothing for ticks. If some are found, put clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks.  If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Follow this link if you find an attached tick.


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